Rob LeBlanc in World Intellectual Property Review: USPTO May Force Foreign TM Applicants to use U.S. Attorneys


World Intellectual Property Review quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Associate Rob LeBlanc in an article about the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) recent proposal that would require foreign-domiciled trademark applicants and registrants to use a U.S. attorney.

Here is an excerpt:

On Friday, February 15, the office published the proposal to change federal trademark law in a move that legitimate domestic and foreign brand owners should welcome, according to Robert LeBlanc, a senior associate at Haynes and Boone’s Dallas office.

The requirement is being proposed in response to the increasing problem of foreign trademark applicants who purportedly act pro se (where the applicant represents himself) and are filing inaccurate and possibly fraudulent submissions.

“Requiring a U.S. attorney to represent foreign applicants will certainly help curtail the massive wave of fraudulent trademark filings that the trademark register has seen in recent years,” said LeBlanc.

Goals of the rule change include increasing customer compliance with federal trademark law and ensuring the accuracy of submissions and the integrity of the U.S. trademark register.

LeBlanc added: “There can be no doubt that the rule change will also substantially increase business for U.S. trademark lawyers. From the USPTO’s (conservative) estimates, nearly $100 million dollars in new prosecution business could be driven to U.S. lawyers annually.”

To read the full article, click here

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